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PEOPLE VS.

MARTI
FACTS: Appellant Andre Marti sent four gift-wrapped packages to a certain Walter Fierz
in Zurich, Switzerland. Anita Reyes, the proprietor of the messenger business, asked to
inspect the packages but was refused by Marti. Marti insisted that the packages only
contained gifts such as books and cigars for his friend. Anita no longer inspected the
packages.
Prior to its delivery to the Bureau of Customs, the appellants box was opened by Job
Reyes, husband of Anita, for a final inspection. Upon opening the box, Job sensed a
funny smell emitting from it. He then squeezed one of the packages and felt dried
leaves inside. He pulled on a cellophane package protruding from one of the openings.
He opened what he got and took several grams for laboratory examination. He
prepared a letter to the NBI reporting his findings and requesting said laboratory
inspection.
It was found that the package contained marijuana.
ISSUE: W/N the seizure was legal.
HELD: YES.
The contraband in the case at bar having come into possession of the Government
without the latter transgressing appellant's rights against unreasonable search and
seizure, the Court sees no cogent reason why the same should not be admitted against
him in the prosecution of the offense charged. If the search is made upon the request
of law enforcers, a warrant must generally be first secured if it is to pass the test of
constitutionality. However, if the search is made at the behest or initiative of the
proprietor of a private establishment for its own and private purposes, as in the case at
bar, and without the intervention of police authorities, the right against unreasonable
search and seizure cannot be invoked for only the act of private individual, not the law
enforcers, is involved. In sum, the protection against unreasonable searches and
seizures cannot be extended to acts committed by private individuals so as to bring it
within the ambit of alleged unlawful intrusion by the government.